"A heavenly state" said Mike
Smith, about green and cool Kerala, which has been rated as one of the Top
Ten Paradises on Earth ( in the travel and tourism industry ) by the
National Geographic. ! Yesterday I had a software installation in Kochi. So I
reached Kochi and installed the software in minutes.
When I got out of the office on Marine
Drive, it was 1100 AM. I took a boat to Vypeen Islands. This is my first trip
to Vypeen. I had studied at Kochi, at Ernakulam, when I did my PDC, in 1970
and 71. Now Kochi looks vastly different. The Boat Jetty has been improved by
a new building. There are frequent ferry trips to Mattancherry and Fort Kochi.
I got a boat to Vypin at 1200 PM. It went via Willingdon Island, an
artificial island carved out by Willingdon, the erstwhile Governor.
Vypeen is situated on the Western coast of
Kochi. The island is demarcated by a sea coast of 26 kms on the West and
backwaters extending around 30 kms on the East. It has a land area of 87
square kms. Vypeen, Kerala's Gold Coast, is linked to Kochi via
the Goshree bridges.
As we neared W Island, one can see the Taj
Malabar, the five star hotel. Then the boat moved towards Vypeen. We can see
the giant gantry cranes of Vallarpadam ICTT very nearby. Vallarpadam is an
island on the Wembanad Lake and is the site of the International Container
Transhipment Terminal. The ICTT will be functional from mid Feb onwards. It is
a half a billion dollar project by DP World, Dubai. These islands, the
Bolgatty Island, Vypeen, Vallarpadam, Willingdon Island etc are beautiful
islands on the Wembanad Lake and is the attraction spots for tourists. There
are lots of Ayurvedic Resorts on these islands and one can have the healing
touch of Ayurveda with the background of the backwater fresh winds. Ayurvedic/Medical
tourism in on the rise in Kerala and these islands will witness more tourists
in the years to come. There are also many allopathic hospitals on these
islands. Kochi has already figured in the cricket map of the world. Not only
will Vallarpadam figure in the Container Shipping map of the world; she will
also figure on the World Tourism Map !.
The Vypin boat jetty needs a lot of
improvement. Near the boat jetty is the Vypeen Bus Stand . It is a glorious
view from Vypeen. We can see Fort Kochi on the other side. Taj Malabar on W
Island looked a bit far and Vallarpadam is nearby !. I then took a bus to
Njarakkal, another tourist center. We have a beach at Njarakkal, but the
facilities are not developed. Construction of the roads are underway.
There is an Aquatic Club at Njarakkal. You
can fish there on the brackish water fish farm. They charge 150 INR per
ticket. You can get gorgeous sea food, from the Sea Food Restaurant there. The
Aquatic Club is manned by Matsya Fed, the government owned fisheries company.
Some tourists were fishing, some were relaxing near the fish farm and
some were boating.
The Cherai Beach, Vypeen
Considered as a jewel in Kerala Tourism,
Cherai is considered to be one of the virgin beaches and is one of the main
spots for Beach Tourism. It is a virtual feast to the eyes and
ears of the discerning travellers in search of some unique beach experience,
sans the crowd and pollution.
From Njarakkal, I took a bus to the famous
Cherai Beach. The beach is a beautiful sight and there are hotels and bars
nearby. Cherai Beach seems to be better developed than Njarakkal. I saw more
than 50 Westerners, some taking sun bath and others enjoying the sea. Cherai
appeals to the SSS tourists, beach tourists who revel in Sun, Surf and
From Cherai, I came to Trichur via the bus
route. Last time I had crossed via jungar, from Munambam ( Ernakulam ) to
Azheekode ( Trichur ). Munambam means the end of the island and this is the
place where the Ernakulam Dist connects with Trichur. This time I came to
Kodungalloor without crossing via ferry. There were three bridges, which
include the famous Kottappuram bridge, to cross. I reached Trichur within one
hour. Even though I had studied in Kochi, I had not seen the islands fully
before. Hence this trip made me more knowledgeable about the spots which are
going to develop, as the ICTT becomes operational within June 2011.
Giant Aquarium for Fisheries Tourism
An Oceanarium project has been proposed in
New Vypeen island. Star attractions will include a Marine Park, an
International Marine Biological Research Center, Center for Marine Resources,
Ecology Center, Convention Center, Amphitheater and a an ocean habitat
showcasing glass tunnel. As a part of promoting Fisheries Tourism, a 350
cr Aquarium Project will be implemented, for people and researchers to study
marine species, on a 50 acre plot in New Vypeen. An Oceanarium is a simulated
ocean and contains all the living organisms found in the ocean including large
species like sharks and whales. Tourists could get the feel of walking on the
sea bed getting a clear view of the spectacular water world. The main tank
will be constructed meticulously to reflect the various aspects of the world
beneath the ocean. Rock, reef and weed structures are reproduced to create a
pleasant environment and a natural habitat for the marine species that will
make it their home. The important area of the Oceanarium complex will be its
main tank, which house the curved acrylic tunnel through which marine life
could be viewed at close range. The tank will be of heavy RCC construction and
will hold 12 K cubic M of sea water.
It was Philip Henry Goss who coined the word " Aquariam". The modern
Zoological Society of London started work on "Aquatic Vivarium" and
Gosse was one of the original suppliers of stocks to this new fish house at
the London zoo .